Scamp brake and running light trouble - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-11-2007, 09:23 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Trailer: Scamp 13 ft 1992
Posts: 20
Hi Folks,
I have a '92 Scamp 13. I have been using this camper for 4 or 5 year.My lights have always given me trouble. Tonight I managed to get the brake lights to come on, with my foot on the break pedal and my head lights off. When I turn the head lights on ...No lights, no signals, nothing. Turn my head lights off, flashers and break lights work again. No running lights at all.

I have a flat 4 Toyota factory harness to a roung 6 pin adapted harness on the camper. The white ground is tap screwed right into the metal frame. I do not have elec brakes, those wires are dead. When I hook into a diff trailer, no issues. It is a problem with the camper. The crazy part is I usual say "f" it and pull it in the day time with no running light and bingo... they come on. Do I replace the harness? Can I spice the flat 4 into the round 6 pin and cap off the brake wires??? How do I know what color wires do what?
HELP.
PS Mod. question. Ever rip out the "kitchen" to make a bed. Head towards kids bunks and feet towards wife's feet. Kind of a L shape Master bed.???
Dennis
__________________

__________________
Dennis J. Kane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2007, 10:07 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Byron Kinnaman's Avatar
 
Name: Byron
Trailer: 2006 Scamp 13' towed with a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4.7l Magnum W/full tow package (over kill)
Oregon
Posts: 6,307
Registry
Quote:
Hi Folks,
I have a '92 Scamp 13. I have been using this camper for 4 or 5 year.My lights have always given me trouble. Tonight I managed to get the brake lights to come on, with my foot on the break pedal and my head lights off. When I turn the head lights on ...No lights, no signals, nothing. Turn my head lights off, flashers and break lights work again. No running lights at all.

I have a flat 4 Toyota factory harness to a roung 6 pin adapted harness on the camper. The white ground is tap screwed right into the metal frame. I do not have elec brakes, those wires are dead. When I hook into a diff trailer, no issues. It is a problem with the camper. The crazy part is I usual say "f" it and pull it in the day time with no running light and bingo... they come on. Do I replace the harness? Can I spice the flat 4 into the round 6 pin and cap off the brake wires??? How do I know what color wires do what?
HELP.
PS Mod. question. Ever rip out the "kitchen" to make a bed. Head towards kids bunks and feet towards wife's feet. Kind of a L shape Master bed.???
Dennis

If you don't have a converter the negative, (some call ground) is NOT connected to the frame. Even then no current should flow through the frame.

If the trailer is wired correctly a standard 4 pin to 6 adaptor should work. I would try that first. If that doesn't work get a copy of the wiring schematic from the Scamp web site. Start checking the wiring from the connector according to that schematic. It's pretty easy to follow. A Mulitmeter would be a big help here.
__________________

__________________
Byron & Anne enjoying the everyday Saturday thing.
Byron Kinnaman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2007, 09:24 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Name: Darwin
Trailer: 2002 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
Posts: 3,029
Send a message via Yahoo to Darwin Maring
If everything works OK on a different trailer then you know where the problem resides.

Check your grounds on the egg. The white wire from the plug to the frame of the egg and the grounds from the lights to the frame and make sure the connections are not rusty where they attach to the frame. (Grounds seam to be the biggest problem with trailer lights)

Inspect the plug on the trailer to insure it is not damaged and clean both the plug and receptacle of both vehicles. Make sure it plugs into the receptacle OK.

Crapshack sells a $15USD kit for cleaning and preserving the connections. It has 2 very small aerosol sprays (The size of a lipstick), it seams quite expensive for such little material however the magazines have raved about how great it is.

If after cleaning, things donít improve, then you need to completely check the wiring from end to end.

Sometimes it is easier to just install new trailer wire / plug than to check the old stuff especially if you do not have the equipment and/or expertise to do the test. If you do that, you might want to consider retrofitting to LED lights. They are sealed, use very little current and should give you many years of worry free service.
__________________
Darwin Maring is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2007, 10:44 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Byron Kinnaman's Avatar
 
Name: Byron
Trailer: 2006 Scamp 13' towed with a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4.7l Magnum W/full tow package (over kill)
Oregon
Posts: 6,307
Registry
Quote:
If everything works OK on a different trailer then you know where the problem resides.

Check your grounds on the egg. The white wire from the plug to the frame of the egg and the grounds from the lights to the frame and make sure the connections are not rusty where they attach to the frame. (Grounds seam to be the biggest problem with trailer lights)

Darwin,

I'm curious how the wires from the lights get to the frame. If you have wires going to the frame at each light it's probably somebody's modification. My 2006 13' from the factory has one wire attached to the frame and that wire is the "safety ground" from the 120 AC system. Since the tail lights and running lights are wiring have to come through the shell to the inside of the trailer to drill a bunch of holes in the floor to connect to the frame. It's a lot easier and less expensive to just run a wire around the inside of the trailer for the negative connection.
__________________
Byron & Anne enjoying the everyday Saturday thing.
Byron Kinnaman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2007, 12:01 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Name: jim
Trailer: Casita 2000 17ft. Liberty
California
Posts: 163
The wires inside the trailer were corroded. I abandoned all the wires and fixtures and replaced them with a boat trailer harness that I stapled to the underside of the camper.
Now they can be seen and not get corroded in a damp interior enviroment.
__________________
jim munson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2007, 12:50 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Byron Kinnaman's Avatar
 
Name: Byron
Trailer: 2006 Scamp 13' towed with a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4.7l Magnum W/full tow package (over kill)
Oregon
Posts: 6,307
Registry
Quote:
The wires inside the trailer were corroded. I abandoned all the wires and fixtures and replaced them with a boat trailer harness that I stapled to the underside of the camper.
Now they can be seen and not get corroded in a [b]damp interior enviroment.
HUH?
__________________
Byron & Anne enjoying the everyday Saturday thing.
Byron Kinnaman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2007, 01:24 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Pete Dumbleton's Avatar
 
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 3,072
Send a message via Yahoo to Pete Dumbleton
Some eggs tend to be more damp under the benches than others, particularly where the water tank is (condensation) and where the porta-potti is (evaporation of flush water), esp because there is typically poor ventilation. However, I would be inclined to keep the wiring inside (and deal with the moisture instead).

Some folks have even reported corrosion of the metal clips used to hold the LP lines in place.

BTW, I have often heard and read of automotive systems described as 'negative ground' and 'posititive ground', plus DC electronic systems having 'chassis ground', so I would presume it to be a good term even when nothing may be connected to an 'earth ground'. YMMV

My experiences and readings of automotive and trailer lighting systems leads me to believe there are three causes for the majority of problems. In order, they are:

1. Bad grounds

2. Bad grounds

3. Bad grounds
__________________
Pete Dumbleton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2007, 03:14 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Byron Kinnaman's Avatar
 
Name: Byron
Trailer: 2006 Scamp 13' towed with a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4.7l Magnum W/full tow package (over kill)
Oregon
Posts: 6,307
Registry
Quote:
Some eggs tend to be more damp under the benches than others, particularly where the water tank is (condensation) and where the porta-potti is (evaporation of flush water), esp because there is typically poor ventilation. However, I would be inclined to keep the wiring inside (and deal with the moisture instead).

Some folks have even reported corrosion of the metal clips used to hold the LP lines in place.

BTW, I have often heard and read of automotive systems described as 'negative ground' and 'posititive ground', plus DC electronic systems having 'chassis ground', so I would presume it to be a good term even when nothing may be connected to an 'earth ground'. YMMV

My experiences and readings of automotive and trailer lighting systems leads me to believe there are three causes for the majority of problems. In order, they are:

1. Bad grounds

2. Bad grounds

3. Bad grounds
Negative DC power is connected to the frame in automotive, utility trailers, and boat trailers. Mainly because the light fixtures are attached the frame (running and stop lights). I haven't seen any fiberglass trailers with light fixtures attached to the frame. Maybe I'm missing something.
__________________
Byron & Anne enjoying the everyday Saturday thing.
Byron Kinnaman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2007, 03:33 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
pjanits's Avatar
 
Name: Pete
Trailer: 17 ft 1986 Burro
Tennessee
Posts: 881
And there is always the ever troublesome bad grounds. Hard to find but easy to fix once found.
__________________
pjanits is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2007, 05:53 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Pete Dumbleton's Avatar
 
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 3,072
Send a message via Yahoo to Pete Dumbleton
Well, if the light fixtures have a white wire, and the tow vehicle has a white wire and the converter has a white wire, and the converter's white wire is connected to the frame and the frame is connected to the tow vehicle by white wire and hitch, then I believe we have negative ground wiring in the tow vehicle and trailer, even if the light fixtures are not mounted directly to the frame. But, guess it doesn't really matter as long as we don't start connecting the positive wires to the white wires...
__________________
Pete Dumbleton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2007, 06:36 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Name: jim
Trailer: Casita 2000 17ft. Liberty
California
Posts: 163
Bryan
The damp interior enviroment I was refering to is condensation on the inner wall of the fiberglass. All my marker lights and splices had a white oxidation coating. Putting the wires under the floor stopped that crap. Routing new circuits is easier from under too.
__________________
jim munson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2007, 06:51 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Byron Kinnaman's Avatar
 
Name: Byron
Trailer: 2006 Scamp 13' towed with a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4.7l Magnum W/full tow package (over kill)
Oregon
Posts: 6,307
Registry
Quote:
Well, if the light fixtures have a white wire, and the tow vehicle has a white wire and the converter has a white wire, and the converter's white wire is connected to the frame and the frame is connected to the tow vehicle by white wire and hitch, then I believe we have negative ground wiring in the tow vehicle and trailer, even if the light fixtures are not mounted directly to the frame. But, guess it doesn't really matter as long as we don't start connecting the positive wires to the white wires...
You missed one. You gotta have a white wire from the fixtures, each and every one them, to the frame.

And nobody said anything about negative ground or it's counter part positive ground.

Now go looke at the Scamp wiring schamatic and find ground. I believe the only reference to ground you'll see is associated with the 120 AC power system. The negative side of the DC power is only refered to as a white wire. I don't find any indication on the schematic where the white wire is connected to the trailer frame.

Explaination of how the trailer frame is connected to the negative DC system;

a. Where there is a piece of electrical equipment that has a metal chasis, i.e. the converter the AC ground must be connected to the metal chasis of the converter. This is a safety thing.

b. If you have AC electrical outlets the AC ground then must be connected to the trailer frame. Safety again. (Safety issues are required by UL and CSA)

b. Electronic power supplies (Converter) usually will connect the negative DC power to the metal case, again a saftey thing.

c. Since the metal case of the Converter (power supply) is connected to both the negative power system and the frame of the trailer via the AC ground, it appears that the trailer frame is the negative DC system power connection. Since the light fixtures are attached to the plastic trailer body there has to be some way for the negative and positive DC power to get to the lights. That has to wire.

It can be very confussing and I can see that is. That confussion is why I don't the use ground associated with fiberglass trailers, everybody want to associate ground with the trailer frame when what they're talking about is the negative side of the DC power.
__________________
Byron & Anne enjoying the everyday Saturday thing.
Byron Kinnaman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2007, 07:11 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Name: Darwin
Trailer: 2002 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
Posts: 3,029
Send a message via Yahoo to Darwin Maring
Throughout the years I have experienced every sort of tail light problem you can think of on vehicles and trailers.

When you have a single wire going from light fixture to light fixture (In Series) and attaching in one place to the frame and/or the plug all it has to do is go bad in one spot and nothing else works, So now days, on all my trailers, camping and utility, I make sure that the ground wire on each light is fastened to the frame. I use the wire that was installed in and underneath the camper and simply splice a run to the frame and then allow the original wire to continue to the next light (This is parallel Wiring). Yes, I have a frame ground for each light which means that I have multiple grounds. I also have done this for the electric brakes and that has overcome previous braking problems.

My white wire (Negative) on the truck goes to the frame of the truck and the white wire on the trailer plug goes to the frame of the trailer and I have a ground strap bolted to the tong of the trailer hitch with a big battery alligator clip that I attach to the receiver of the truck, yes, another ground. You canít rely on the trailer Ball / hitch to provide the ground as many people unknowingly do.

I have retrofitted all my trailers with LEDs on the back and side markers and with all this work, I havenít had problems in years.

The negative path for all lighting on trucks and autos travels through the frame / body of the vehicle. The battery of the vehicle has the negative side bolted directly to the metal of the vehicle either the frame or engine. The positive side of the battery usually goes directly to the alternator.

When you look at the new vehicles today you will see bolted ground straps all over the place. This is due to the plethora of plastics used and for the manufactures to insure they have quality grounds to every part of the vehicle.
__________________
Darwin Maring is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2007, 07:52 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Brian B-P's Avatar
 
Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Alberta
Posts: 5,000
Okay, read everything Byron said and imagine I said it too, since I agree... saves typing.

Quote:
...My white wire (Negative) on the truck goes to the frame of the truck and the white wire on the trailer plug goes to the frame of the trailer and I have a ground strap bolted to the tong of the trailer hitch with a big battery alligator clip that I attach to the receiver of the truck, yes, another ground. You canít rely on the trailer Ball / hitch to provide the ground as many people unknowingly do.
Since the electrical connector from tug to trailer includes a white/ground/negative wire, the strap is a backup to that, rather than to the ball/coupler connection. I don't have a backup for any other circuit, so I don't have one for this circuit... although one could argue that since this is the one circuit which completes all of the others, it deserves special attention and might rate a back-up.

Is the receiver bare steel, Darwin?

Quote:
...The negative path for all lighting on trucks and autos travels through the frame / body of the vehicle. The battery of the vehicle has the negative side bolted directly to the metal of the vehicle either the frame or engine. The positive side of the battery usually goes directly to the alternator.
All of the truck tail lights I've seen recently mount in those rubber gaskets, and have separate negative wires. All headlights I've seen and all those tail lights assemblies do as well. The negative wire does typically go to a body connection point to take advantage of the metal body in the return path, at least for tail lights, but that only makes sense in a metal-bodied car. Our trailers are a quite different situation - I don't see a problem using the frame, but it doesn't have the same advantage.

The engine starter should not use the body as a return path... there are routinely two "ground" cables or straps, with one direct to the engine.

Quote:
...When you look at the new vehicles today you will see bolted ground straps all over the place. This is due to the plethora of plastics used and for the manufactures to insure they have quality grounds to every part of the vehicle.
I can believe this (although I haven't noticed any increase in my 2004 van from previous 1980's vehicles), but I suspect it has a lot more to do with electromagnetic interference than with carrying current from the lights.
__________________

__________________
1979 Boler B1700RGH, pulled by 2004 Toyota Sienna LE 2WD
Information is good. Lack of information is not so good, but misinformation is much worse. Check facts, and apply common sense liberally.
STATUS: No longer active in forum.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
lighting, lights, scamp, tail lights


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
3rd Brake Light Help D Tharp Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 16 04-16-2010 07:48 PM
3rd Brake light Kevin K Modifications, Alterations and Updates 10 10-04-2008 07:09 AM
Play Pac Running Light Bonnie Classified Archives 1 09-30-2007 07:27 AM
13' Scamp - Left turn signal and brake light Kate Carney Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 7 07-23-2007 09:55 AM
Triple E Surfside TM-14 left front running light cover Cam A Classified Archives 5 05-03-2006 07:27 AM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:06 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.